#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,266 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,266
Reviews: 1,666
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 63
Gots: 885 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-09-1998

A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. A sort of dry, crisp, refreshing, not-quite pale ale. #9 is really impossible to describe because there's never been anything else quite like it.

20 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,266 | Reviews: 1,666
Reviews by ninaturner:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
2.48/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Stone Pub. Pours a mellow amber-orange color with highlights of burnt sunburst around the edges; slight haze but not enough to completely cloud your eyesight to the other side. Fizzy, bone-white head goes almost as quickly as it comes. The aroma is fruity, light, and crisp; apricots, oranges, peaches - sounds great, right? Unfortunately the smell comes off a little too contrived, artificial, and errs on the side of medicinal. Not enough to abhor the beer already, but it doesn't bode well for how it's probably going to taste. Hits the palate with a thin-almost medium body, crisp, snappy, and fizzy. Takes over with the fruity sensation right away - apricots still in the forefront, with some peaches, tangerines, and pears on deck. The strange, vitamin-like medicinal character is actually less apparent on the palate then it was in the aroma, which is a good thing, but I still have to smell this sucker every time I bring the glass to my mouth. A bit of grain and pale malt flavors along with a flower-like hop character which is unfortunately mostly shoved aside by the fruitiness. Low bitterness start to finish, highly carbonation with an aftertaste of artificial fruits and a touch of yeast.

I commend this beer for being almost somewhat of a "gateway" brew that brings people from macro style lagers to the wonderful world of craft beer. It's lighter, not abrasive, easy on the palate; so it's easy to see why newcomers will enjoy it. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold a candle to the rest of the craft world, and once you expand your tastes, this one is easily forgotten, and in many cases, eventually frowned upon for having a weird, medicinal astringency.

Photo of gaulsandman
3.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Just a strange feeling and taste to this beer, to me it taste like grape cotton candy. Sweet and fruity but in a sugary way which I'm not use to in a beer. I don't hate it, nor do I love it but I will order it again until I figure out what taste is hidden in this beer. No head upon pour ... just confusing

Photo of Spence26
4.33/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very drinkable beer with a hint of a berry taste

Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this many times while living in Vermont and had a bottle yesterday for the first time in a few years.Poured a slight hazed light amber color with a tight 1/2 finger white head that stuck around for a minute leaving no lace behind as it settled,quite effervescent on the nose with big apricot and honey notes,with a noticable toasted grain elemant in there as well.Its a good cook out and or bbq beer lighter easy going down and chicks dig it,anyways the fruity flavors of apricot and or peach are not as big as in the nose but really show thru in the finish as well a little toastiness with just a lighter herbal hop note as a slight balancer.Hey it is what is a easy quaffing cult beer I would take it over any macro or other fruit beers out there for sure.

Photo of MadScientist
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep gold with an orange tint and excellent clarity. The creamy light tan head head is composed of compact bubbles.

S: A moderate aroma of stone fruit mostly apricot with some peach dominate the aroma. the malt is subtle adding a slight toastiness and sweetness. There isn't any hops aroma. The malt increases as it warms.

T: A moderate bitterness and apricot flavor dominate the flavor. There is a good amount of support from a soft malt sweetness giving about an even balance. The off-dry finish leaves a slightly grain malt sweetness and apricot flavor and a light lingering bitterness.

M: The body was a little thick at a medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation. The is no creaminess and no warmth but there is a slight astringency.

O: This is a restrained fruit beer with the apricots still taking center stage but not overwhelming the underling beer. The problem is I'm not that wild about the underling beer. The apricots might be suited better on a slightly sweeter base style beer.

Photo of brownbeer
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass; pours a pale orangy color without much head.

Pretty much one note from the aroma to the taste, and that's apricot. It's medium bodied and the taste has a touch of peppery hop spice that I didn't get from the aroma.

Overall, pretty average and maybe a good intro craft for people who aren't ready for the more challenging flavors.

Photo of bluesoul
3.94/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into pint glass. Vigorous pour yielded maybe half a finger's worth of white foam, which dissipated fairly quickly. No lacing at all. Poured more orange than gold to the light, and quite hazy.

S - Getting a nutty aroma, like a fruit salad with nuts. The malt keeps a low profile to the nose but does become more apparent when swirled in the glass.

T - Taste doesn't quite go with the aroma, a rich fruity yet malty taste with an unusual twist of a finish, possibly grape or plum. Very light hops in the finish, hop heads would be best served with another ale.

M - Feels pretty light all in all, certainly inoffensive. Alcohol taste is nonexistent. Aftertaste gives you a fruity feeling on the tip of your tongue, like you just ate a banana, and the hops do build up towards the back of the tongue as you keep drinking.

D/O - I don't think it really merits some of the pannings I've seen it get on here. While it's fruity enough to not be an all-around favorite I'd have to say it's a quite inoffensive, and very drinkable approach to an apricot-themed beer. Could see myself scouting it out again in the summer when I think the flavors would really shine. Do yourself a favor if you've got it in a fridge, give it a few minutes out to warm up a bit and you'll appreciate the flavors quite a bit more. It really got a lot more pleasant as it warmed up.

Photo of CBOLAND17
4.07/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The infamous "Not Quite Pale Ale". An ale that has all the characteristics of a pale ale except that it isnt quite as hoppy as a pale ale. Additionally it has a fresh fruity taste laced in with the maltiness, but it doesn't have the dry quality that some fruit beers have.

Photo of sgoodship
2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was working late at work and one of the guys came with a 6 of this. Never tried anything by these folks before, so I was interested!

The color is a light amber. Nice soft white head. Good lacing.
Small dark particles in the head - not sure what that's all about.

The smell was like fake raspberry soda with a touch of beer.

The taste was an incredibly disappointing generic pale ale with raspberry flavoring. There is some breadiness but it's quickly into the fruit which comes across as artificial.

It's a medium body brew with medium carb.

I just couldn't get into this beer at all. It reminded me of the article on BA Magazine that talked about not wanting to review the bad fruit flavored beers from Europe. I won't be going back and it seems like such poor judgment, it makes me question other brews by these folks.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.71/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass at Tyler's Taproom in Apex.

Clear bright orange gold in color with a solid 2 fingers of thick white head. Very good head retention with decent lacing, pretty much down the glass.

Aromas were unexpected. Lots of grain malt and fruit with additional light hoppy citrus notes.

The flavors are enjoyable but difficult to describe. There are a ton of different subtle fruit notes like apple, apricot, and pineapple. The backbone seemed to be a solid rich barley malt that came through at the middle and toward the finish. The beer finishes with some malt at first and then sort of has a buttery popcorn linger. I can honestly say I have never had anything like this before and it really was good.

Mouthfeel is a bit better than average with a reasonable level of carbonation. There is a heaviness of malt there that was enjoyable as it is generally hard to find that kind of flavor in an pale ale - full and rich of grain.

Very drinkable and enjoyable. At first I couldn't figure out why this brew is classified as an APA but on reflection, I'm not sure if there is a better classification for it. It definitely stands on its own and has some interesting components that make it unique. Very cool.

Photo of blitz134
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear body. Orange in color. White head that didn't stay for any amount of time. Aroma mainly has a malty base to it. Some slightly noticable citrus hops.

Taste follows up with a mainly malty flavor with some fruit overtones. A little bit of apricot and some lightly toasted malt flavors. Comes across to me as a flavored lager.

Somewhat thin mouthfeel, nothing outstanding here. Drinkability is good though. Easy to put down, nothing offensive.

Photo of nickadams2
2.53/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A_ Pale yellow with a decent bone white head.

S_ Apricot overwhelms hiding the smell of anything else.

T_ Tastes fruity and sweet. Overwhelming to the palate with the taste of apricot. Pretty weak beer.

M_ Thin crisp mouthfeel. If it didnt taste so bad it might be refreshing.

D_ Imagine it would be a good beer for a session but dont care too much for another one.

This would be a good beer for a beginner. Also if youre trying to get your girl to drink beer might not be a bad idea to start her off with this. Lot of hype but overall dissapointing.

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.35/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The first time I had this beer, two or three years ago, I enjoyed it. With time, as I drink it occasionally, I like it less and less. It has an amber appearance, without much head. It has a sweet odor of apricot. The tase is sweet, but there is a distinctly bitter aftertaste which is not very pleasant. It has ordinary mouthfeel, somewhat on the thin side. Not much fun to drink.

Photo of SD-Alefan
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a bubbly white head.
The aroma is a combination of floral and spice and a bit of fruit candy.
Taste is similar. A bit flowery and maybe a hint of corriander and a bit of earthiness. As it warms, I pick up a bit of a vegetal flavor. Very little bitter.
Mouthfeel is on the thin side and well-carbonated.
Overall, weird but not unpleasant and somewhat refreshing.

Photo of Todd
3.94/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz funky swirly shades of orange that maze around and form the number 9. The inside of my crown said, "Beware The Bore Behind The Door." Freshness date clearly marked as well as "Not quite Pale Ale."

Appearance: Relatively clear with some haze and a tawny golden colour. The head is smooth with chunky bubbles and clings.

Smell: Damn this is one "fruity-ass" beer! Smells distinctly like apricot and pears.

Taste: Really nice mouth-feel with a semi-crisp dryness from the wheat and a smooth light malt palate. Fruit flavours (apricot) are everywhere with a very subtle bitterness and ending dry with some grainy notes. Mild hop bitterness. The essences of apricot added to the overall fruitiness of this beer, but, it steers clear of being another typical-sickly-sweet-fruit beer.

Notes: Odd how they managed to get this so damn fruity but also so dry at the end? This is a truly an amazing ale and fun to drink for a fruit beer.

I'm not big on fruit beers (lambics, etc aside) but I thought this to be a pretty damn good beer. Better than most others in its style -- very easy to drink, packed with fruity apricot flavour and has a nice dry crispness about it.

Photo of marvin213
2.11/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Cloudy for a pale ale, and light for a fruit beer (as I now see BA has it labeled). Light carbonation for either as well, and light on the color (almost peachy) relative to a traditional pale. It looks oddly fruity--though brown, its ghost white fizz looks lambic-like. Unique, but the uncertainty about this "not quite Pale Ale" leaves me uneasy.

Smell is apricots on a hop biscuit with a twist of peach. That combo has obvious potential, but there's a sourness here dissuading me. It doesn't smell bad as in soured by bacteria and poisonous...but as if the fruits were overly ripe. It's a little puckering.

The taste is stale fizz. Isn't that ironic? There's definitely the apricots, and I've yet to embrace 'em in a beer. I love weird brews and scoff at Reinheitsgebot, but maybe apricots aren't good beer ingredients...or maybe I just don't like apricots. There's a subtle hop background, but the fizzy, sourish apricot dominates. It feels like it tastes--maybe even worse with the way the carbonation accents things.

Magic Hat creeps toward DFH-level status with its general marketing, but my experience with their beers pales to that of Dogfish Head. I haven't had as many of the Vermont specials, and I realize it's not about #9 relative to anything else, but this beer leaves me less apt to reach for another Magic Hat.

Photo of Beaver13
3.16/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours clear light gold with a small white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is lots of sweet sugary apricot.

The flavor is some wheaty malt with lots of sweet apricot and a little bit of a dry bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, very one dimensional - sweet apricots - but enjoyable. A little much on the sweet side for me, I prefer something like Aprihop.

Photo of generallee
4.07/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a pale golden color with a small foamy white head. The aroma is full of fresh ripe apricots and sweet grains. On the tongue it has a silky smooth texture with a pleasing fruity apricot flavor that's not too sweet or sticky. It works well with light malts and a mellow hop bitterness. This is a very drinkable beer with a great fruity flavor.

Photo of renegadeburger
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had this one on-tap over at barcade in jersey city my new favorite watering hole they are getting some really awesome beers in there love that place

poured a nice golden color with perfect white head the head disapated very quickly though

aroma was really heavy fruity syrupy aroma kind of like a fruity cocktail in this sense heavy apricot fruit aroma with some esters

the taste was also heavy in the fruit flavor department i could definitely tell it was heavy fruit flavor here all the way through it tasted more like a fruit cocktail beer than a real beer

decent mouthfeel but rather thin bodied

overall a decent beer but lets be frank here this beer would probably be a good crossover or gateway beer but a seasoned beer drinker would not want this just ok for me i had one pint then ready to move on

Photo of Jcorn
4.57/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I feel I have to lead every review by saying I'm just not a huge hop head. Which is probably why I love 9 so much. A little fruity but also a little hoppy in a good way. My go to beer on a chill Friday night.

Photo of Guden
3.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Brilliantly clear copper with a half inch white head that retains well but leaves no lacing.

S- Sweet caramel with a bit of cider notes and just a hint of ale derived allspice character. The apricot is there but subdued.

T- Up front light sweetness, with a bit of bitterness in the middle that keeps it subdued and light dried apricot sweetness on the end to give it a nice pep. All around the flavors seem well put together and complimentary.

M- Light to medium in body with a moderate carbonation the levels seem just right for the style and makes the flavors pop on the tongue and finish easily.

D- This is a well made beer. There is no sense of the fruit being forced on the beer or the beer on the fruit, just a well rounded harmony of the two. While not the best beer ever it is a solid offering and perfect example of the style which does well at what it sets out to do, and for that I am very grateful.

Photo of JoeMertens
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Great brew to enjoy on warm or hot days. Apricot aroma eclipses any malt or hops on the nose. Taste is predomanantly apricot/peach, with just a slight bite of hops in the finish. The clean malt helps to balance out the apricot. A great, simple, summer session beer for hot days.

Photo of Duster72
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with a minimal off white head. Aroma is sweet malts and fruits, with peach, apricot and fruit punch. Taste follows with a very bready maltiness combined with a fruit cocktail kick that seems to lean toward the peach end of the fruit spectrum. Mouthfeel is fine. Not terribly drinkable IMO - I left half the glass for the drain.

Photo of Jason
2.56/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the back label. Under the cap reads "Don't Pick Your Nose When It Shows". Meaning go to the bathroom and take care of business so no one has to see you digging for gold.

Solid two fingers of head, slightly hazed golden yellow color. Smells of a apricot hard candy and buttered biscuits. Smoothness and crispness I would expect for an English Pale Ale light to medium body ... lighter than I remember. Fruity with obvious fruit flavorings added, dry maltiness is a bit flat and the hops are very modest. Finishes Semi-dry with a feigned sweetness from the fruit flavoring.

So here we have the infamous #9, a beer that took Boston by storm many years ago. Its simply a plain English Pale Ale with flavorings. It was probably the bomb back in the day but now it just does not cut it for me anymore.

Photo of merlin48
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle cap says, "No matter Where, you're always There". This bottle pours a clear, apricot body, with a small head that quickly drops to collar and minimal, patch lace. Apricots dominate the aroma, with some grassy hops in the background. Mouthfeel is light bodied with prickly carbonation. Taste is basically about average for a fruit beer. Essence of apricot, pale ale malt, and grassy hops. Some bitter yeast flavor comes through in the finish. Definitely, my least favorite of the Magic Hat brews.

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#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 5,266 ratings.